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Disciplinary Vernaculars: Separated by a Common Language

  • August 18, 2014
  • By a2ru      
It is not the big overarching problems that get in the way of communicating in an interdisciplinary setting; it’s the vocabulary issue.


Ivica Ico Bukvic, D.M.A., is an Associate Professor in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech. Professor Bukvic identities vocabulary as the most common problem encountered in his experience with interdisciplinary collaboration.

Each discipline has its own language which leads to conversations colored by assumptive thinking and misfires in communication; “Consonants in music mean something else in other disciplines,” says Bukvic. There’s more work to be done as our culture “…cherishes the notion of collaboration, but does not provide good training at it….The rhetoric is too heavy and the practice is too light.”

The research videos produced for a2ru’s YouTube channel are provided courtesy of ArtsEngine at the University of Michigan, and are the products of an ongoing research project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Image of “Communication” by Joan M. Mas.